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Full text of "transcription, Southeast News, Southeast Conference, United Church of Christ, Winter (January-March) 1995"

SOUTHEAST NEWS 



PUBLISHED BY THE SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 

Volume 43, Number 1 
Winter Qanuary-March) 1995 

Amistad UCC Observes First Annual Church Meeting 

The new Amistad UCC became a worshipping congregation on the first 
Sunday in May 1 993. At that time, the Pilgrimage UCC of Marietta graciously asked 
the Bible Study group that was to become Amistad UCC to share Pilgrimage's 
facility. Eighteen months later it was reported at Amistad's first annual church 
meeting, held on Sunday, January 15, 1995, that: 

Amistad now has 121 members. 

The church owns property valued over $650,000. 

The budget for 1 994 was $93,500. 

The adopted budget, by consensus, for 1 995 is $21 8,000. 

The church's gymnasium building houses Victory Christian Academy, a 
school for kindergarten through 12th grades, with 40 students. 

The church building, 5 days a week, houses Circle of Faith Daycare, from 
6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., with 70 children. 

Amistad's organizing minister. Flora Wilson Bridges, attributes the church's 
strong growth to the grace of God and the people's strong commitment to both the 
church and to the community. Amistad raises the church's budget solely by means 
of tithing. The church's theology, grounded in the minister's teachings from the 
Bible, does not permit any form of selling or fund raising. Secondly, Amistad's 
Bible Study has over 75% church membership attendance on Wednesday evenings 
at 7:30 and the Church School, held on Sunday mornings at 9:30, is rapidly 
approaching that statistic. The congregation is becoming increasingly biblically 
literate. 

The church is also firmly committed to the Cobb County community ... all 
of the community. Reverend Bridges reported to the congregation: 

"Although we are overwhelmingly a middle-class, educated congregation, 
we must make our focus the 'least and the last.' 

"The poor must be welcomed and made to feel at home in our midst. My 
vision is that we will never become an elitist, unfriendly, cold congregation with a 
'club mentality' that excludes the poorest of the poor and those who are 
traditionally oppressed in church and society. The value system of our African and 
African-American heritage teaches us that everybody is God's child; therefore, 
everybody is somebody. Our church must continue to be characterized by genuine 
love, friendship and warmth. This is pleasing in God's sight." 




Reverend Bridges states that, "God has been good to this church. These are 
extraordinary people full of faith and love for God in Christ Jesus. The love affair 
between God and Amistad is reciprocal: we love the Lord, and the Lord has shown 
over and over again that God truly loves us and we are so grateful for all of God's 
goodness. I thank God daily for this amazing journey called Amistad." 

Board of Directors Celebrates and Gives Thanks 

At the January 20-21 meeting many reports were heard and actions taken: 
Sent $20,000 to National OCWM ($7,000 over goal). 

Sent $48,000 from special offerings (OGHS, NIN, DOV, Strengthen the Church, 
Hunger, Peace, etc.). 

Celebrated $262,665 pledges from SEC to Make A Difference - our Challenge Coal 
was $250,000. 

Thanked Anne Ariail as Flood Coordinator, and heard of over $49,000 being 
received ($22,000 from Iowa) for flood relief 

Thanks to all in the Conference whose commitment made this possible. 
Other items: 

Approved the Structures Report before it went to Cluster Meetings, and looking 
toward the final report for Annual Meeting in June. 

Approved the Annual Meeting plans, June 9-1 1, at Simpsonwood Retreat Center. 

Approved the Personnel Committee report to do Transitional Staffing during '95 in 
preparation for new Structure proposal regarding staffing. 

Need Funding? 

Do you have a social justice or hunger action project that could use some 
additional funding? The Conference retains a portion of the Just Peace and Hunger 
Action offerings for use at the local level, and applications for those funds are due 
April 1st. 

The Commission on Christian Social Justice administers this money, and 
application forms are available from any member of that Commission, or from the 
Conference office (1-800-807-1993). Projects need to be endorsed by a United 
Church of Christ congregation, but may be carried out by other groups. For more 
information, contact Commission members or Dorothy Gager, (615) 292-0934. 



CONFERENCE COMMENTS 
CONFERENCE MINISTER'S MESSAGE 
''Grab Tight To Each Other's Handsr 

The beginning of '95 is a good time to reflect on where we are. L. Robert 
Keck, in Sacred Eyes, says that humanity has come through he childhood and 
adolescent epochs in history, and now we are "Coming of Age into Adult Maturity: 
Spiritual Development." It is having eyes, viewing life spiritually, and being 
involved with the human community and in the world as a soul enterprise. As the 
currents of the flood waters rose and swirled, a mother yelled to her family, "Grab 
tight each other's hands! Only in holding together, will we make it and be saved!" 

How better to speak of the beloved community of Christ's Church — lifting 
each other's hand, knowing we belong together in life's journey and celebrations, 
because we belong to Christ. Such an old message! But so new as I get calls every 
week from people wanting to know where there's a United Church of Christ near 
them in the Southeast, because they "heard it believes and cares to be an inclusive 
community of grace and mission;" and also that we resolved at the '93 General 
Synod to be a truly multi-racial, multi-cultural church. God is calling, awakening 
us to be such! 

However, becoming Christ's community for these days requires more than 
good will and nice intentions. I remind you of three items which are indispensable, 
and 1 lay them on your hearts and on each church's agenda. First, the longing and 
hunger for spiritual reality by so many leads to the Gospel, with its liberating and 
convicting power. A whole Gospel brings us to new issues, new people, new life 
and new joy. We can rationalize and dress it up, but the spiritual journey and a 
church's life will be short-lived without the Gospel's compelling power. 

Secondly, building up the body of Christ is the focus for a pastor and 
congregation's working in synch together, in order to be a vital congregation in 
mission. As someone said, "We have lots of busy and good activities, but when 
they're finished, the whole community of faith has not been strengthened." When a 
church operates as an interdependent body, the synergy can result in continuity of 
the church for the next generation. 

Finally, the "Big C" — commitment. Being tithers and supporting mission 
beyond our church, through Our Church's Wider Mission, are life-giving for you 
and your church. Have you ever seen a church with vitality that had no mission 
giving? On the contrary, vital churches are committed to mission. Have you ever 
seen a pocketbook-protection person who had a generous spirit and joyful 
disposition? On the contrary, joyful purpose is exhibited by those who are 
committed. As the author says, 'the uncommitted life is not worth living!" I know 
that most of us are over-extended, but not always clear about being committed to 
what is life-giving. 

Consider — and pray — for sacred eyes and your community — be a family of 

God. 

Faithfully, 



Roger D. Knight 
Conference Minister 



Associate Conference Minister: 
Meditation on Identity 

I have read with special interest the Conference Minister's message in this 
particular issue of our Southeast Conference News. My judgment is that he has 
been appropriately precise and thoughtful in lifting up the priority subject of 
community along with the concomitant prerequisites and exceptional benefits 
applicable to our highly dispersed and diverse Conference community. I urge all to 
read it thoughtfully and prayerfully. 

What I offer here is my discovery of one other dimension and side effect of 
community. It is personal and its source and inspiration for me has been partially in 
the Gospels. Please recall Matthew 16:13ff. There you can notice Jesus testing out 
the disciples. Coming directly to the point he asks, "Who do you hear others say 
that I am?" Then come the awkward responses that very obviously do not satisfy. 
So he repeats the question this time pushing them a bit tighter against the forensic 
wall, and then comes to the answer that matches his own sense of identity. 
Strangely enough it comes from the most unlikely person - Peter, the awkward, 
blundering fisherman, ordained to be the "rock" upon which the church will stand 
and prevail. The point that seems abundantly clear to me is that in community we 
should expect times when we need to rediscover, clarify and confirm our own self- 
identity. 

Therefore let my say ... 

At the last Conference Board (January 20-21), an official announcement was 
made in an unintentionally curt manner that I would be going on part time in my 
position as Associate Conference Minister. It's true that I will, but let me clarify for 
everyone interested or concerned that I offered the suggestion and will participate 
in what is a mutual plan of productive implementation between the Conference 
Minister, Roger Knight, and me. The requested change in status is based mainly on 
my reassessment of personal as well as family priorities within the scope of my 
ministry. The timing is also appropriate inasmuch as on January 19, I realized I 
have been blessed with good health and God's favor to serve the United Church of 
Christ, the ecumenical community, and the proud men and women and their 
families of the United States military for a little more than forty-eight continuous 
years of ordained ministry, in my request and agreement with the Conference, 1 will 
be serving a time of transition with mutually adjusted duties and responsibilities. 
Details are being worked out to effect an orderly process for both me and the 
Conference. 

Mitchell "Mitch" Johnson 
Associate Conference Minister 



OCWM GIVING DECEMBER 31, 


1994 




Churches 


Fourth 


1994 


by Association 


Quarter 


To Date 


ALABAMA-TENNESSEE 






Alpine, King's Chapel 


156.00 


156.00 


Belvidere, First 


2,550.00 


6.072.75 


Birmingham, First 


2,300.00 


4,500.00 


Birmingham, Pilgrim 


1,209.00 


4,809.00 


Chattanooga, First 


.00 


.00 


Chattanooga, Pilgrim 


3,637.67 


10,984.25 


Chattanooga, Sheares 


.00 


358.00 


Crossville, UCC 


750.00 


3,330.00 


Cullman, St. John's 


2,700.00 


8,600.00 


Deer Lodge, Congregational 


300.00 


1,200.00 


Fairfield Glade 


925.00 


3,700.00 


Garden City, CC Church 


115.50 


462.00 


Glenmary, CC Church 


.00 


.00 


Hanceville, Mountain Grove 


.00 


100.00 


Huntsville, United 


1,500.00 


6,000.00 


Knoxville, Church of the Savior 


640.00 


2,890.00 


Marion, First 


.00 


.00 


Montgomery, First 


3,800.00 


3,800.00 


Nashville, First 


2,000.00 


6,000.00 


Nashville, Brookmeade 


225.00 


900.00 


Nashville, Howard 


.00 


600.00 


Pleasant Hill, Community Church 


5,213.73 


19,027.38 


Robbins, Barton Chapel 


.00 


.00 


Sweetwater, First 


.00 


250.00 


Talladega, First 


.00 


200.00 


Tougaloo, Union UCC 


.00 


.00 


Waverly, United 


140.00 


260.00 


TOTAL 


28,162.50 


84,499.98 


EAST ALABAMA-WEST GEORGIA 






Alex City, First 


.00 


.00 


Columbus, United 


.00 


.00 


Dadeville, Elder 


.00 


.00 


E. Tallassee, Congregational Church 


.00 


.00 


Eclectic, Watson's Chapel 


.00 


.00 


Five Points, State Line 


.00 


.00 


LaFayette, Pleasant Grove 


.00 


848.00 


LaGrange, Hillside 


.00 


.00 


LaGrange, United 


56.00 


224.00 



Lanett 
Langdale 

Phenix City, Russell Woods 
Pine Forest 

Pine Mountain, Oak Grove 
Roanoke, Antioch 
Roanoke, Bethany 
Roanoke, Forest Home 
Roanoke, New Hope 
Roanoke, North Main 
Roanoke, Rock Stand 
Valley, Todd 
Wadley, Corinth 
Wedowee, Noon Day 
Woodbury, Jones Chapel 
TOTAL 



986.00 

380.00 

380.00 
.00 
.00 
.00 

142.00 
.00 
.00 

190.00 
.00 
.00 

237.00 
.00 

912.00 
3,283.00 



3,000.00 
570.00 
1,140.00 
.00 
.00 
570.00 
142.00 
.00 
570.00 
570.00 
.00 
.00 
475.00 
.00 
2,736.00 
10,845.00 



GEORGIA-SOUTH CAROLINA 

Atlanta, Central 

Atlanta, First 

Atlanta, Rush 

Atlanta, Southwest 

Atlanta, UCC 

Beachton, Evergreen 

Buford, Duncan's Creek 

Center Congregational Church 

Central Congregational Women 

Charleston, Circular 

Charleston, Plymouth 

Columbia, Fellowship 

Demorest, Federated 

Dewy Rose, Liberty 

GA-SC Association 

Jonesboro, Trinity 

Marietta, Pilgrimage 

Midway, Congregational Church 

Savannah, First 

Thomasville, Bethany 

TOTAL 



6.694.35 
2,750.00 
.00 
.00 
.00 
495.00 
.00 
.00 
.00 
666.66 
.00 
.00 
120.36 
.00 
.00 
1,800.00 
1,668.00 
.00 
400.00 
.00 

14,594.37 



26,776.20 
11,000.00 
500.00 
.00 
.00 
990.00 
.00 
210.00 
200.00 
3,333.30 
1,350.00 
.00 
238.42 
.00 
2,200.00 
7,200.00 
5,753.00 
600.00 
1,000.00 
300.00 
61,650.92 



SOUTH ALABAMA-N.W. FLORIDA 

Andalusia, Antioch 
Andalusia, First 
Baker, Good Hope 



.00 
220.00 
.00 



1,400.00 
550.00 
.00 



Baker, Pyron 


.00 


.00 


Bonifay, New Effort 


.00 


.00 


Brantley, Indian Creek 


.00 


.00 


Brantley, Liberty 


100.00 


400.00 


Clio, New Hope 


.00 


50.00 


TOTAL 


320.00 


2,400.00 



VICTORY!!!! 

Hallelujah! Surely a miracle! 

FOR WE HAVE NOW SURPASSED OUR SOUTHEAST CON TERENCE CHALLENGE 
GOAL OT $250,000. We now stand at $262, 165.00! Surely God has been at work 
among us! 

Our thanks to those Southeast Conference churches which have held 
campaigns. According to the list in the Cleveland office, those churches are as 
follows: 

Cullman 

LaFayette 

Midway 

Huntsville 

Atlanta, Central 

In addition, a number of individuals have given from congregations that 
have not campaigned. Some of these are quite large gifts. 

Throughout the United Church of Christ, over 850 congregations are 
committed to campaigning between now and June ... which is expected to 
produce $26,000,000 by General Synod. Among these are the following Southeast 
Conference congregations (according to Covenant forms mailed to the Cleveland 
office): 

Marietta, Amistad 
Alexander City 
Birmingham, First 
Birmingham, Pilgrim 
Brantley 
Clio 

East Tallassee 
Lanett 

Montgomery 
Roanoke, Bethany 
Roanoke, North Main 
Roanoke, New Hope 
Talladega 
Langdale 
Atlanta, First 
Atlanta, Rush 



Columbus 
Jonesboro 

Marietta, Pilgrimage 
Savannah 
Woodbury 
Charleston, Circular 
Charleston, Plymouth 
Belvidere 

Chattanooga, Pilgrim 

Crossville 

Knoxville 

Nashville, Brookmeade 
Nashville, First 
Nashville, Howard 

If there are other churches which should be included in the above two lists, 
please let me know. 

As we approach the soon-to-dawn new century, increasing numbers of 
seminarians will need help with rising costs of education. New church starts will 
need more help in purchasing land. Many older churches, such as those Native 
American congregations, need help in refurbishing facilities. Endowments are 
needed to continue ministries for generations to come. Surely all Southeast 
Conference congregations want to get on board this once in a lifetime campaign 
before it ends this June. 

If your church missed the training sessions and you need some help in doing 
a campaign, please let me know. 

John R. Lackey 
Conference Campaign Director 
(615) 690-3127 

1995 Annual Meeting 

The 1995 SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE ANNUAL MEETING will be held 
June 9, 10, & 11 at beautiful Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center in 
Norcross, Georgia (just north of Atlanta). The meeting's theme, "The Voice of One 
..." will be expressed in various creative ways by all those present along with 
keynote presenter the Rev. Mr. Daniel Romero, General Secretary, Mission 
Program Unit, United Church Board for World Ministries and the Rev. Ms. Mary 
Sue Gast, Executive Director, Coordinating Center for Women in Church and 
Society. 

It is the goal of this Annual Meeting to create an atmosphere of family and 
community. Simpsonwood provides a "self-contained" setting in which this might 
be accomplished. Therefore, you are encouraged NOT to commute, or to come 
just for Saturday, but rather "Come for the entire experience as we seek the voice of 
God, Ourselves, and the Church, together." Some might argue, "that the cost is too 



high." The conference fees are totally inclusive (meals, snacks, lodging, etc.) and 
represent a savings over procuring lodging, meals, etc. "on your own" in the 
Atlanta area. Possibly your congregation could hold a soup supper, or some other 
fund raiser to assure that your pastor (and spouse?) and your delegates are able to 
attend this time of rejuvenation, fellowships, education, and personal growth. Plan 
now to send your pastor and delegates for the entire conference. And remember, 
EARLY REGISTRATION WILL SAVE YOU BIG MONEY! 

Sunday, June 11th has been declared UCC SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE 
LAITY SUNDAY so that your pastor and delegates do not have to hurry home from 
the Annual Meeting and miss important sessions. Laity Sunday materials are being 
prepared (liturgy, sermon, prayers, etc.) and will be sent to each congregation in 
early May for use on June 1 1th. Last year at least 1 7 congregations used all or part 
of the furnished materials. Plan now to participate and allow your pastor and 
delegates to attend the entire conference! 

This year's Annual Meeting should be more like a family reunion than a 
meeting, and isn't that what it should be? MARK YOUR CALENDAR, June 9-11, 
1995 and get your registration in early for the 1995 SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE 
ANNUAL MEETING! Come and visit with your family! 

Guidelines for Presentation and Consideration of 
Resolutions/Statements of Concern 

I. Delegates, local congregations and committees, individuals with endorsement of 
a local church council, and Conference program units, may submit resolutions or 
statements of concern for the Annual Meeting no later than March 23, 1995. They 
should be mailed to the attention to Resolutions/Concerns Chairperson, 756 West 
Peachtree Street N.W., Atlanta, GA 30308. 

II. Two vehicles for presentation of issues or concerns are provided for at the 1995 
Annual Meeting. 

A. Resolution: This is the way that concerns or issues may be brought to a 
decision at the Annual Meeting. A resolution must have implications affecting the 
program and/or the budget of the Conference. Resolutions may be acted upon 
under Robert's Rules of Order or may be considered by consensus, with the options 
of stating consensus, stating areas of consensus and areas of difference or waiting 
for future enlightenment and discernment. The Resolutions/Concerns Moderator 
and Minister will determine how a resolution will be acted upon after hearing 
discussion. To overrule this decision, a motion for a two-thirds majority vote must 
be made, seconded and passed by the Conference voting members. 

B. Statement of Concern: This is the way that concerns or issues are brought 
to the attention of the Conference for consciousness raising, research and 
reflection, educational purposes and mobilization of individual or local church 
consideration. Statements of concern will be presenting to the Annual Meeting in 
the following ways: for limited discussion on the floor without a vote; for a forum 
or panel presentation; as a position paper presented for distribution and/or 



presentation only. How a statement of concern will be presented will be 
determined by the Business or Resolutions/Concerns Committee. A statement's 
contact person will be notified as to how his/her issue will be presented. The voting 
members of the Conference may request with a simple majority vote to have any 
particular statement of concern referred to the appropriate committee of the 
Conference for further research and reflection or by request of the 
Resolutions/Concerns Committee Chair, delegates may be polled informally to 
determine current views of the issues involved in any particular statement of 
concern. 

III. In order to insure thoughtful consideration by the Annual Meeting, the following 
components should be included in a resolution or statement of concern (limit of 
two pages): 

title/subject of the resolution or statement of concern 

name, address and phone number of contact person and presenter, if these 
are different 

concise background leading to the submission 
theological and Biblical perspective 

clear wording of the actual resolution or statement and in the case of a 
resolution, the action being requested of the Annual Meeting should be 
highlighted in a summary statement beginning with "Be it resolved ..." 
also in the case of a resolution, itemized budget implications for the 
Conference and a time frame for achieving the requested action 
program implication for the Conference, associations and/or local 
implications 

relationship to present Conference directions, if possible 

IV. The Resolutions/Concerns Committee will review all resolutions and statements 
of concern and/or: 

A. If warranted, correlate and establish communication between or among 
proponents of similar resolutions or statements; 

B. If necessary, negotiate with proponents any resolutions of statements 
deemed inappropriate for consideration in their present form; 

C. If appropriate, refer to the proper Conference committee for their review 
and preparation of comment and clarification; 

D. if necessary, reject for inclusion on the Annual Meeting agenda, any 
resolution or statement of concern inconsistent with the mission and 
ministries of the Southeast Conference. 

V. The Resolutions/Concerns Committee may at its discretion add items to the 
agenda upon request and adequate explanation as to why the resolution or 
statement of concern could not have been submitted by the specified date. If a late 
submission is accepted, it shall be the responsibility of the presenter to provide 
adequate copies for all delegates. 

If there are any questions regarding these procedures, please contact Reverend Karl 
Whiteman, 4071 Owl Hollow Road, Belvidere, TN 37306. Phone: (615) 967-0380 
or (615) 967-0180. 



How Do We Weave a Faithful Cloth? 
One Great Hour of Sharing 

The 1995 ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING materials ask, "How do we 
weave a faithful cloth when 45% of the world's children go to bed hungry in three 
countries on India, Pakistan and Bangladesh? The apostle Paul asks us how are we 
knit together in love in a world where eighty million Chinese have to walk more 
than one mile for a glass of water that is drinkable? 

Since 1949, the ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING offering has provided 
vital testimony that what we do together is more powerful than what we can 
achieve as single individuals. Now is the time to start planning for yours and your 
church's participation in OGHS. Each church should have received the 
informational and publicity material packet by now. Please use it, it does make a 
difference! This year's materials are extremely creative for use with all ages. The 
material in the packet has been produced on quality paper to improve 
reproduction. Please share and use these important concepts with children and 
adults in your congregation, as you prepare for the March 25, 1995 OGHS 
collection. 

Current events have bombarded us with images of people in distress ... in 
Rwanda, the Middle East, California, the Caribbean, Japan, and Eastern Europe. 
"The Fabric of Faith," a new 8-minute (VHS) video, shows how our OGHS offering 
weaves us together with people who are affected by the stark realities of hunger, 
poverty and violence. This video resource presents a vivid picture that can help 
your congregation see how their gifts to OGHS can make a real difference in this 
country and around the world. To obtain a copy for loan/use at no cost (except 
postage), call the Southeast Conference Office at (404) 607-1993. Or, to obtain a 
copy for your church library at no cost (except postage), call United Church 
Resources at 1-800-325-7061. Please make use of these resources. If you have 
questions, or would like suggestions on how to better utilize the OGHS materials, 
feel free to contact United Church Board for World Ministries, Southeast 
Conference Convener, Rev. Karl K. Whiteman at (615) 967-0180 or 0380. He will 
be happy to assist your church in achieving a successful OGHS offering. 

How do we weave a faithful cloth? We weave, we build, we work, we 
share. Patterns in a tapestry. The fabric of our faith is revealed in a love that sets us 
free. When local churches participate in the 1995 One Great Hour of Sharing 
offering, gifts of money are transformed into a cup of clean water, a vocational skill 
which leads to self-sufficiency, a village plan for development that counters 
hunger, a warm blanket, a meal, a hand that reaches out to offer hope. 

Working together, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! SUPPORT OGHS! 



Brookmeade UCC Declares Itself 



^^Open and Affirming^^ 

The Brookmeade Congregational Church, UCC in Nashville, TN, in a 
congregational meeting on October 30, 1994, vote overwhelmingly to declare itself 
"Open & Affirming." The Covenant and Declaration passed by the congregation 
reads in part ... 

"The UCC has historically affirmed a rich diversity in its theological and 
Biblical perspectives, and has committed itself to an inclusive social ministry. We 
welcome people of all sexual orientations to join our congregation in the same 
spirit and manner used in the acceptance of any new members. 

"Therefore, we declare ourselves as an Open and Affirming Church with an 
inclusive non-discrimination covenant. Because of our calling we do not 
discriminate against any person, group, or organization in membership, 
appointment, use of facility, provision of services, hiring, promotion or funding on 
the basis of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, faith, nationality, ethnicity, 
marital status, or physical disability. 

"We further commit ourselves to work to overcome, in ourselves and others, 
attitudes and acts of injustice, discrimination, wholeness." 

The vote followed by a year-long planning and study/discussion process 
coordinated by the church's Board of Deacons which involved the entire 
congregation in a series of presentations, discussions and times of sharing together. 
"Actually, we had in fact, become an open and affirming congregation over a ten- 
year period," said the Brookmeade pastor, Dan Rosemergy, "but we reached the 
point of feeling that it was time to formally declare that we were 'Open and 
Affirming,' both to stand in solidarity with the many gays and lesbians around the 
country who are discriminated against and excluded from the full life of the 
community, and to let them hear us say, 'You are welcome and affirmed, and we 
want/need one another in the building up of this church.'" 

The congregation members had many opportunities to learn, to look within 
themselves at their own feelings, and to come to this common commitment. The 
study sessions included the following: 

"Being an Open and Affirming Church: Theological and Ethical Issues for 
Our Faith" - Rev. Joseph Hough, Dean of the Vanderbilt Divinity School, an 
ordained UCC minister and member of Brookmeade. 

"Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality: What the Bible Does and Doesn't 
Say" - Rev. David Buttrick, Professor of Homiletics & Liturgies at Vanderbilt, an 
ordained UCC minister and member of Brookmeade. 

Other UCCers who came to share with Brookmeade included Rev. Ben 
Guess from Henderson, KY; Ted and Donna Braun of Pleasant Hill, TN (UCC 
Parents of Lesbians and Gays); and Rev. Ann Day, the UCC Open and Affirming 
(ONA) Program Coordinator and former Brookmeader. 

"The process itself ... of openly and honestly sharing with one another was 
deeply moving and important for us," said Rev. Rosemergy. "We came out of it a 
closer, more loving community." 



For further information about the process at Brookmeade, or for copies of 
some of the material used, please call or write: 
Rev. Dan Rosemergy, D.M. 

Brookmeade Congregational Church, UCC, 700 Bresslyn Road 
Nashville, TN 37205; (615) 352-4702 

Pleasant Hill Community Church 
Celebrates 1 1 0th Anniversary 

The Pleasant Hill Community Church (Pleasant Hill, TN) will celebrate its 
110th anniversary with special services and a new addition on March 19th, 1995. 
The Rev. Robert Peeples, Pastor Emeritus, will preach on the theme of the church 
moving from its history into the future. The Rev. Roger Knight, Southeast 
Conference Minister, will preach on April 23rd on the church's roots in the 
tradition of the Southeast Conference and its growing into the future. 

To climax the series, on May 13th and 14th, Rev. Dr. Thomas Dipko, 
Executive Vice President of the UCBHM will be the featured speaker at ceremonies 
to dedicate the new wing to the church. He will discuss the church's origin in the 
American Missionary Association and the founding of Pleasant Hill Academy and 
its future mission. The day will also feature special music and a church picnic. 

The new church wing will provide the congregation with expanded facilities 
for classrooms, offices, choir room and new toilets. A major feature will be a large 
welcoming area to accommodate fellowship times and other occasions. There will 
also be a covered driveway to protect people from the weather when discharging 
from autos. 

The project began in early 1991 and total cost is approximately $240,000, 
of which $196,000 was raised in gifts, pledges and bequests. 

Christian Education Commission: A REPORT 

This commission will retain their theme from last year: "Becoming Biblical 
People." 

To achieve its main goal of enhancing the spiritual growth of all members of 
the churches in the Southeast Conference, the Commission will be meeting via 
teleconference meeting in early February. We plan to engage in the following 
activities this year: 

1 . To sponsor a men's retreat in late September or early October. Reverend 
Bob Kurtz will coordinate this retreat. 

2. To present a training event to be held August 12, 1995 at Pilgrim 
Congregational UCC in Chattanooga, TN. This event will feature a session for 
church school teachers, acolytes, and confirmation. Another session will feature 
activities for children's ministries with adult leaders for story telling, puppetry, 
singing, crafts, drama and other art forms. The afternoon session will be devoted to 
a training event for youth leaders. 



3. Activities for singles and single parents will be planned at a later date. 

The Youth Council and the Youth Coordinator, Tim Klein, are alive and 
well. They had a very successful Youth Retreat at Pilgrim Church in Birmingham, 
AL in January. There were 43 youth and 12 adults in attendance. The retreat was 
spearheaded by Rev. Renae Koehler, associate pastor of Pilgrim Church. 

Yubenia Prigmore, Chair 

General Synod to Consider Major Future Issues 

The General Synod will consider issues for long-term church future. 
Amongst many items, most of which are not yet published, are two major ones: 

1. National structure of the United Church of Christ; considerable down- 
sizing of agencies for more effective mission; will have three program bodies (Local 
Church and its Ministries, Wider Church & Its Mission, and Justice & Witness), an 
administrative and support body and the Pension Boards. 

2. Mutual recognition of ministries between the United Church of Christ and 
the Disciples of Christ, in which clergy of each denomination will be able to be 
called to churches in either denomination. Watch for further news. Southeast 
Conference delegates are Wayde Washburn, Rebecca Paschal, Andrew Frierson 
and Debbie Douglas; with associate delegates Richard Sales, Moderator, and Roger 
Knight, Conference Minister. General Synod will be in Oakland, California, June 
29-July 4. 

CHOIR ROBES AVAILABLE 

The Pleasant Hill Community Church has choir robes available at no cost 
except delivery charges by UPS, or the robes could be collected in Pleasant Hill. 
There are 30 maroon gowns, most of them in reasonably good shape. They come 
with reversible white and gold stoles. Any or all are available. Call the church office 
at (615) 277-3193. 

FAITH'S JOURNEY 
For Youth 

There is a special sense of fulfillment that comes when you are able to assist 
a young person clarifying his or her vocational goals. Many youth today are asking 
serious questions about the future, the purpose of life, how to discern individual 
gifts and how all this will influence their life's work. Perhaps you are in a position 
to provide counsel for them. 

If so, then the health and human service ministries of the United Church of 
Christ in greater St. Louis are available to assist you in this special ministry with 
youth. Now in its fifth program year. Faith's Journey provides: 

a unique two-week vocational-oriented encounter, 

a rich resource of caring professionals, sharing their faith stories. 



four two-day overnight experiences selected by the youth, 

Christian community, faith exploration, worship & recreation, all designed 

to engage high school youth in Christian service and community, and the options 

available to them in making vocational choices. 

To receive a brochure describing the program to be held July 23-August 4, 

1995, write to Rev. Cynthia S. Bumb, Chairperson, Faith's Journey, 35 West 

Jackson Road, St. Louis, MO 63119. Or call (314) 968-8703. 

Exciting Vacation Opportunity 

The Iowa-Southeast Conference Partnership Committee is sponsoring a work 
camp for adults and youth at the Morgan-Scott Project near Deer Lodge, TN, June 
11-17, 1 995. Campers will be improving houses for needy families, mostly elderly, 
by repairing steps, porches, roofs, floors and by painting. You can learn of the 
heritage of Appalachia, enjoy the beauty of the area, share in worship experiences 
and make new friends. 

There is no fee, but you need to bring money for food and a donation to 
help buy the materials needed. Also bring a Bible, work clothes, hammer, sleeping 
bag and a foam pad or air mattress, as we will sleep on the office floor. 

This is a great chance to live an adventurous week in completely different 
surroundings, and engage in physical exercise and friendly banter away from the 
"rat race." You can share God's love with a distant neighbor and feel the warm 
satisfaction of having made someone else's life a little bit safer and more 
comfortable. 

Flyers with registration forms and more details are being sent to the 
churches. 

Charlie Lord 

Iowa-Southeast Partnership Committee 

UCC to Sponsor Weekend Marriage Encounter 

The United Church of Christ will sponsor a Marriage Encounter weekend for 
a second year on April 28-30 in Huntsville, Alabama. 

The weekend, designed to revitalize and brighten the light of a couple's 
intimacy that may have dimmed over the years, is to improve already strong 
marriages, not those in trouble. This encounter should improve relationships with 
children, parents, friends, as well. 

There are groups meeting regularly in Huntsville and Atlanta as a result of 
UCC's 1994 first Marriage Encounter Weekend that was attended by seventeen 
couples in 1 994. 



Christmas Made Merrier by 
Southeast Conference Churches 



In late 1993, Lynn and Bill Tweed, members of United Congregational 
Christian Church, LaCrange, GA, drove to Elon College, NC to drop off Christmas 
gifts for the boys and girls at Snyder Campus of Elon Homes for Children. The 
Tweeds, long-time friends of the Home, decided that the following year they'd do 
the same for the youth at Elon Homes' Kennedy Campus. 

When the East Alabama-West Georgia Association met in October 1994, 
Bill described the pleasure and reward Lynn and he received from the project and 
invited others to participate. He was prepared with a list of students and their ages 
and sex. The Tweeds were delighted when numerous Association members 
"adopted" a child or children and promised to have gifts wrapped in time for the 
Tweed visit to Kennedy Campus. 

A wonderful variety of gifts were contributed by the following Southeast 
Conference churches: Elder UCC; East Tallassee Congregational UCC; LaGrange 
Hillside Christian; Lanett Congregational Christian; Langdale Congregational 
Christian; United Congregational Christian UCC, LaGrange; Oak Grove 
Congregational UCC; Russell Woods Congregational UCC; Antioch Congregational 
Christian; New Hope. Several women's fellowships made cash contributions 
toward the project. 

Lynn and Bill were warmly welcomed to Kennedy Campus, Charlotte, NC, 
when they arrived in mid-December with gifts for every youth in care. The 
following Sunday, Lynn Tweed told her congregation that sharing Christmas with 
the youth of Elon Homes was the highlight of their holiday celebration. In assuming 
leadership for tangible expressions of love and concern from friends in the 
Southeast Conference to the children of Elon Homes, the Tweeds experienced 
anew the Christmas message of faith, hope and charity. 

Sharon Landis 

Music in May 

Friday, May 12, 8:00 p.m.. Central Congregational Church 
$5 

Charlie King with Ellise Witt and Joyce Brookshire 

Global, Local & Homemade Music 
A benefit for Southern Ministry Network 
Rev. Houston Wheeler 
(404) 624-9079 

CHURCH & PEOPLE NOTES 

Weddings Bells ... December 18th, 1994 for Bill Lloyd (pastor of Jones Chapel, 
Woodbury) and Betty Burroughs. 

Mini-Camp ... April 28-30, 1995 at Christian Retreat Center, Laguna Beach, FL. 
Sponsored by East Alabama-West Georgia Association, Bill Lloyd, Director. For 



information, write or phone Box 266, Woodland, GA 31836. Phone (706) 674- 
2610. 

The Reverend Larry Crook, pastor of Pleasant Grove UCC, LaFayette, Ala. died Feb. 
5. Memorial services on May 7 were led by Conference Minister Roger Knight and 
Roy Bain. 

Reminder . . . 

PRE-RETIREMENT SEMINARS FOR ALL CLERGY 
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOUR FUTURE 
LOCATIONS ... 

March 1 - Central Congregational, Atlanta, Georgia 
March 2 - Pilgrim Congregational, Birmingham, Alabama 
March 3 - Pleasant Hill Community, Pleasant Hill, Tennessee 

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

All clergy should plan to attend! 

Called to Care: Responding to Hate Groups 

The second in a series of workshops for UCC congregations was held at 
Pilgrimage Church in Marietta to inform and support church responses to hate 
group activities. Participants included members from six UCC congregations in the 
Atlanta area. The four-hour program was led by Loretta Ross (national coordinator 
with religious organizations) of the Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR). An 
additional resource organization included was Neighbors Network. 

The workshop, using UCC tradition and beliefs, focused on how to identify 
today's hate groups and how local churches can effectively respond. Participants 
gave over twenty examples of local groups whose aims are to create divisions, 
hatred, and anger toward persons in other racial, ethnic, religious and economic 
categories. 

Each church was provided with a CDR manual, When Hate Croups Come 
to Town. One of the more interesting parts of the manual is the one-page list of 
"Ten Points to Remember When Responding to Hate Groups." In addition, the Rev. 
Joe Hoffman of Central Congregational developed a curriculum bibliography for 
churches. These books and videos can be used with children, youth, and adults for 
church school curriculum. 

Copies of the one-page list of "Ten Points" and the curriculum bibliography 
are available for the asking. Please contact Rev. Houston Wheeler at (404) 624- 
9079, or Jerry Plante at (404) 279-6377. 

Look for Association announcements of future ''Called to Care" events. 



structure Committee Report 
Stresses Personal Connections ... 

The cluster meetings in the Conference heard the report of the Structure 
Committee, with great application and adding many suggestions and questions. 
The proposal emphasizes our developing personal connections with churches in 
our area primarily, and connections with the wider church; "personal connections 
make all the difference," said chair Truman Moore. A Conference Council with 
elected representatives from all area groupings received unanimous approval. And 
a "Faith Works"-style Conference meeting (every other year) to emphasize "The 
Gathering of All Our Diverse Family" receives very positive response also. Any 
feedback is welcomed by Truman Moore, 2424 King Arthur Circle, Atlanta, GA 
30345; 404/934-2881. 



CONFERENCE CALENDAR, 1995 

Feb. 20 Structure Committee at Conference Office 
Mar. 1, 2, 3 Pre-Retirement Seminars for all clergy with Carl Beyer of the 

Pension Board, 1 a.m. - 2 p.m. each day 
Mar. 1 - Atlanta Central; (404) 633-4505 
Mar. 2 - Birmingham Pilgrim; (205) 879-1624 
Mar. 3 - Pleasant Hill Community; (615) 277-3193 
Please pre-register with the appropriate host church. Contact 
the Conference Office two weeks in advance if you desire a 
"read out" of your Pension Funds which will be brought for 
you to the particular meeting you attend. Donation requested 
to cover lunch. 
Mar. 4 General Synod Delegates 

Mar. 24-25 Board of Directors' meeting at Villa International, Atlanta 

Mar. 24 All news items to Southeast News for Annual Meeting edition 
in April 

Mar. 24 Resolutions for Annual Meeting due in Conference Office 
Apr. 28-30 Mini-Camp - Laguna Beach, FL 
May ? Clergy Retreat 

May 21 Installation of Rodney Franklin at Birmingham First, 5:00 

Jun. 9-11 Annual Meeting 

Jun. 11-17 Appalachian Work Camp 
Jun. 29-July 4 General Synod - Oakland, CA 

Sep. 29-Oct. 1 Southeast Region Women's Retreat - Blowing Rock, NC 
Sep. 29-30 Men's Retreat 



THE SOUTHEAST NEWS 



Published by the Southeast Conference 

United Church of Christ 
Conference Minister, Roger D. Knight 
Associate Conference Minister, Mitchell C. Johnson 
Office Administrator, Nan Wright 
Moderator, Richard Sales 
Vice Moderator, Annie Neal 
Secretary, Jan Whiteman 
Treasurer, Lester Ariail 
Alabama-Tennessee Association Moderator, William (Bill) Chew 
East Alabama-West Georgia Association Moderator, Jimmy Pilkington 

Georgia-South Carolina Association Moderator, Larry Calbert 
South Alabama-Northwest Florida Association Moderator, Jim Courtney 
Publication schedule: February, May, August, October, December 
Editor, Shirley W. Bowen 
(404) 607-1993 (phone) 
(404) 607-7939 (FAX) 
Mail news and other material to: 
Shirley W. Bowen 

P.O. Box 340 
Franklin, GA 30217 



The preceding was a transcription from the original publication, except for 
photographs and associated captions, a registration form for the 1 995 Annual 
Meeting on page 4, and an advertisement for Church World Service on page 5. 
Neither the original nor the transcription are copyrighted or have rights reserved; 
they are in the public domain for free use. Copies of the original may be obtained 
from the Congregational Library, Boston, Massachusetts. 

This transcription was recorded on September 21 and 23, 2013 by Mike Stroud, 
director of Project 66-16, an initiative to record, compile and write the history of 
the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. 



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